Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in jewelry but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michelle Valadon, an Artisan, Visionary, and Fine Jewelry Designer, based in Irvine, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

As an artisan, visionary, and fine jewelry designer, my focus and influence have been on gothic aesthetics, feminine design elements, and nature-inspired motifs that emphasize on quality and intricate details like the bygone days. Also, the symbolism of beauty and spirituality lives within each creation. This is for the woman who dares to stand out, desires something unique, and makes a statement that represents her and her style. She’s the femme fatale that owns and embraces who she is!

I’m available to design customs and also open to customs for men who seek a masculine with a cutting-edge style of its own. Most of all, this is for those who appreciate the artistic flair of fine gothic jewelry that is vintage-inspired and the modern designs that it brings. It’s also the representation of balancing feminine and masculine energies, how it makes you feel, and the presence it creates when wearing it.

Tell us about yourself

I’ve been a design artist most of my life. My background was in graphic design and photo art directing, which I still incorporate into and work with in my jewelry designs. This motivates me as well as designing in creative fun exciting ways that have inspired me rather than the restrictive traditional cookie-cutter designs you see everywhere. I find most seek something different that speaks to them in ways where they can enhance their dress and express themselves. It began when I regularly attended a gothic dance nightclub venue that was built in the 1890s, where the ambiance greatly influenced my inspiration. This is where I was creating designs I was visioning in my mind and how I could embody and express myself through my dress in black.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is to provide a design to those who try on a piece and fall in love with it! To design a piece that brings happiness to another is one of the greatest accomplishments to ever experience. Also, I’ve been honored to have some of my jewelry designs worn by celebrities, including actress Vivica Fox and Carrie Anne Inaba from Dancing with the Stars.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

It’s trying to juggle everything and wear the many hats that come with being a business owner. I’ve learned that you can only be good at some tasks, but not all, and getting some guidance and help is needed.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

First, know what you’re getting yourself into and try to test out your products beforehand. Have enough capital. Learn as much as you can about the industry you’re interested in and listen and learn from those who are where you want to be. Believe in what you offer, and having persistence can go a long way. That’s what has kept me going!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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